Individual Health Practices

In 2019 I carried out a study to explore how late-diagnosed autistic women (like me) managed their health and wellbeing. You can read the summary of my findings here. This is the second of four blog posts describing the themes I identified when analysing the interviews. You can find the first one here.

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Forest Bathing

By Michelle Parsons

My name is Michelle and hopefully by the time you read this I will have qualified as a Forest Bathing Guide and be on my way to becoming a Forest Therapy Practitioner. Although I fit the ‘PDA’ profile and struggled with anxiety for most of my life, I am now a happy, thriving and confident autistic woman, which is largely down to my nature connection journey.

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By Laura

I distinctly remember the beginning of my experience with visualisation, I was about ten years old and lying in bed wondering if I could see what the back of my eyelids looked like with my eyes closed. I lay there looking at the glowy, blackish hue of my inner eyelids. When you try to see with your eyes closed, you can see waves of light barely offering definition, as a child, this light would evolve into stars. This was the beginning of my visual adventures.

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By Ruth Moyse

My thing is running. Well, running and then walking for a bit when I feel tired. 

I wave and say hi to everyone I meet on my runs, because it amuses me to count how few people actually reply. The myth is that autistics struggle with social communication, but I can run for a few miles without reciprocity. Which makes me smile.

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Constructive Adventing

The Christmas season is almost upon us, and this year I’m going to be doing advent a little differently. I already have a wooden advent calendar with little doors, that I picked up in a car boot sale many years ago. 

Last year I filled it with snowflake window-stickers for the children to make the house more and more wintry as the days passed. I usually go for chocolate treats. There’s something about that build up to the mayhem that is Christmas, that needs some noting. 

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Life Revolutions

When it comes to making the world a better place, it can be daunting to take on the big things. Sometimes they are impractical or impossible. Cost, work, location, all these things have to be thought about and considered. There’s no point in deciding to move to the country if your support-network and work cannot be uprooted.

Life is often a series of compromises, but let me tell you a story of the day I decided to completely revolutionise my world.

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Stimming My Way Forward

By Cassandra Nelson

As I emerge from the studio and step down into the sun-drenched parking lot, a gust of wind hits my face and the cooling sensations race downward. The chilled air is a welcome respite, as I am still blazing hot with beads of sweat gripping my skin. I make my way through the lot to my car, noting the sedative effects of the hot yoga cruising through my brain. I smile to myself, a silent congratulatory nod for physically getting my ass there once more.

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Hawthorn Speaks

By Helen Carmichael

Many autistic people have intense and highly-focused interests, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be lifelong. It can be art, music, trains, computers, car registration numbers, bus or train timetables, postcodes, table tennis…An interest in collecting is also quite common.

Autistic people often report that the pursuit of such interests is fundamental to their wellbeing and happiness.

(National Autistic Society)

I have a dawning realization that I can communicate with plants.

This makes me either deluded or a shaman. Or perhaps a typical human who is just remembering things, things that we all used to know.

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